Birch sap must be collected during a specific time in the winter, depending on the species. The collected sap can be drunk as a tonic and it is a traditional beverage in Belarus (Бярозавы сок / biarozavy sok), Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and elsewhere in Northern Europe as well as parts of northern China. Birch sap can also be used as an ingredient in food or drinks, such as (birch beer) or wintergreen flavored candy.
Concentrated birch sap is used to make birch syrup, a very expensive type of syrup mainly made from Paper Birch in Alaska, and from several species in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In Russia this tonic is used as a traditional herbal medicine functioning as antiseptic, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching treatment.
Other uses for the sap include vinegar.